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Metro PHX Needs Affordable Housing

Devine Legacy on Central is the first affordable Phoenix housing development built along the Valley Metro Light Rail. It has 65 low-income apartments for families. Photo courtesy of Arizona Housing Department

By Catherine Reagor for The Arizona Republic

Finding a house or apartment to rent in metro Phoenix has been getting harder for years, but low-income families are being squeezed out of the market the hardest.

Some reasons:

  • Many millennials have opted to lease instead of buy.
  • Lots of former homeowners who lost houses to foreclosure have had to rent.
  • Many Valley rental houses and apartments, affordable to people earning below the area’s median income a few years ago, have been renovated and are now drawing higher rents and more well-off tenants.

The upshot: Finding an affordable rental home or apartment in the Phoenix area has become much tougher for low-income households. The Valley’s median income household income is about $50K, so families earning below that are typically considered lower-income households.

A new study backs that up. It found there are only 22 affordable rental homes available for every 100 Arizona low-income households that have to rent. The problem is worse in metro Phoenix with only 19 reasonably-priced houses or apartments for every 100 families in need.

The research from the Arizona Housing Alliance and Washington D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition found another 142K affordable rental homes are needed for the state’s low-income population. That’s more houses and apartments than there are in all of Scottsdale.

Read more at The Arizona Republic

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